Hertfordshire Genealogy

Guide to Old Hertfordshire

 

Genealogy in Hertfordshire

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June 2010 Archive

 

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This Blog is to provide up-to-the minute information on updates together with some background on how I run this web site, plus more general genealogy news.

If you have any Hertfordshire history news that should be reported here, please Tell me about it

Tuesday, 29th June

Richard Morrison's farm is tracked down: Ian has provided further information following the initial posting of Morrison, Shenley, 1817-1830. The farm was at Sleapshyde, Colney Heath and I have added maps showing the area in 1808 and 1822, Ian also provided more information on the Morrison family - including a possible link to the world famous picture of Whistler's Mother.

Don't forget the Knights Templar: Philip has told me about the important additions to the Preston web site (www.prestonherts.co.uk) - including information on the history of Temple Dinsley and the Domesday manors in the area around Hitchin.

Monday, 28th June

 

IMPORTANT

Tell Me if you know of any similar privately published  Hertfordshire histories (with no ISBN) which you believe are not available in the Hertfordshire or National Copyright Libraries.

Missing copyright books and Hertfordshire Libraries:  As part of my investigation into Boro'gate I discovered that there were no copies of St Albans High School for Girls (published 2002) held by the Hertfordshire Library Service.  It is not listed by COPAC or WorldCat and it has no ISBN or even a copyright statement. The story seems to be similar to the book Berkhamsted School for Girls (published 1988) where copies were not originally supplies to the copyright or local Hertfordshire Libraries when I tried to find a copy in about 1993. The problem is that if important historical books of this nature (both are significant hard back books) are privately published without supplying copies to the relevant libraries they are not included in the main online catalogues and cannot be found by later genealogists or local historians. Both these books were published to record school histories to circulate to the Old Girls and current pupils - and similar things can happen with company and family histories.

Other Activities - Coopers Hole, Cheddar George: The Journal Studies in Speleology, Volume 17,  have just been published by the William Pengelly Cave Research Trust. It includes a copy of my paper Cooper's Hole and the Cheddar Master Cave.  The paper is based on observations I made in around 1960 in Cheddar Gorge, plus research carried out in connection with the Time Team programme made at the cave in 1998 and broadcast in 1999. The above photo shows  Malcolm Cotter (in the green boiler suit) and me being interviewed and comes from the book Behind the Scenes at Time Team, by Tim Taylor (photos by Chris Bennett), published in 1998, which contains an extensive account of how the programme was made. Cooper's Hole can be seen in the background. The interview was not used and I did not appear in a recognisable form in the programme, which is regularly re-shown on cable TV. (In fact my hands can be seen putting down a sandbag to control flood water in the opening shots!)

Sunday, 27th June

Don't forget the Baptists: Our local newspaper's Heritage page reported that 200 years ago the Rev. James Hobbes, pastor of the old Water Lane Baptist Church, Berkhamsted started a Sunday School. At the time the population of the area was only about 2,000, but within a few months 150 children had signed on. This is a good reminder of how active the non-conformists were in the area, and why many people search in vain for the baptism of their ancestors in the Church of England Parish Registers.

   

If you

want more

information

on any of

these books

Tell Me
   
Tring Through Time   The Lilley Picture Book     Notes on Old Chipperfield   Watford - The Second Selection
Tring   Lilley     Chipperfield   Watford
                 
       
Deserted Medieval Villages of Herts   Literary Walks in Hertfordshire   Hertfordshire Living Memories   Hertfordshire Bellfounders   The Hertfordshire Way
Saturday, 26th June

 

 

Why not tell me know of any relevant meetings your local society is giving.

Samplers and Family History: I attended the June meeting of the Herts Family History Society and enjoyed the talk. Some of us will be lucky enough to have embroidery samplers - may be 100 or more years old - made by one of our ancestors, possibly as part of their education. Malcolm and Liz Holliday described how they were bringing this up to date - recording their family history in a series of modern samplers.

More Memorial Transcriptions:  The Herts Family History Society have just published another volume , jointly covering the parishes of Thundridge and High Cross.

Boro'gate - an investigation in progress ...

I purchased a post card on Ebay advertised simply as being of Boro'gate School, Hertfordshire. On Saturday I did some library research and as a result will be posting more information in July - covering both Boro'gate and other houses built between 1869 and about 1900 on the "White House Estate." In the mean time can you work out where it was, or did you or your ancestor go there?

Church Lane, Tring: Shirley live in Church Lane about 50 years ago and  wanted to know where she could get some picture of what it was light. I review the books available, tell her where she can get framed prints and include pictures of whet it is like now.Because of copyright reasons I only provide small images from the books, to encourage people to buy the nbook.

 

Kings Langley: Two new pictures of the parish church. An earlier picture of the interior was removed as it was discovered to be an error - Sorry. [All significant links are now in position - but some editing and final testing still needed.]

   
Thursday, 24th June

 

How Long is a Generation? The following comes from Hertfordshire Obituaries 1801-1837, recently published by the Hertfordshire Family History Society:

2  April, 1819. At Standon, Herts, Richard GOFF, at the extraordinary age of 113years. He left a wife in her 47th year, and three children, the eldest of which is but 17 and the youngest 2 years old. Goff is a native of Ireland. He attended Royston and Stortford markets for many years. His hair and beard were very white, which gave him a patriarchal appearance; and he appeared sensible to the last. His portrait has lately been published.

Becoming a father at 110  is exceptional, as was a case of a grandmother at 26 that was reported in the tabloid press about a year ago,  However many people new to genealogy forget the uncertainites and ask questions about their great great grand father without including any dates. This can leave the reader to guess, not only the length of generations - but also whether the writer is aged 9 or 90. Always remember that an approximate date (at least to the half century).is always better than nothing when you are making an enquiry - or replying to someone else.

 

Datchworth Tithe Accounts 1711-1747: This book has just been published by the Hertfordshire Record Society. It is obviously essential reading for anyone whose ancestors lived in Datchworth in the first half of the 18th century. However Datchworth was a typical rural parish, and while the names may be different the general scenario will be similar to that faced by your forebears. The Introduction includes a very full discussion of the history and collection of tithes and also has a good look at farming practices, while the accounts give a good indication of the prices being obtained in Hertford market. Noteworthy people associated with the parish were the Rev. William Hawtayne (whose account book it was); William Butterfield of Hawkins Hall; Daniel Crawley, yeoman; William Dards/Deards, butcher; John Flindall of Swangleys Farm; William Game of Raffins Green Farm; Edward Harrison of Balls Park, Hertford; Thomas Kimpton of Swangleys Farm; William Kimpton, farmer; Robert King of Raffins Green and Bragbury End; William Robinson Lytton, with links to Knebworth House; William Lytton, rector of Knebworth; Rowland Mardell of Bridgefoot Farm; William Wallis of Datchworthbury and MP for Steyning; James Whitehall at Datchworthbury. Many other people are listed in a comprehensive index.

 

 

Reorganisation of Place Pages - Kings Langley

 

It has been decided to reorganise the web pages of Kings Langley to bring it up to date in terms of navigation. A new menu has been created and pictures and text have been reallocated. The work is still "in progress" and a large number of links still need to be changed to load the new menu. So far no new information has been introduced - but at least two pictures, and some text will be added later. The aim is to complete the changes by the end of the month.

 

Some messages received: Philippa provided some information on James Grey, who married Elizabeth, daughter of the St Albans brickmaker, Benjamin Fowler  1764-1821.

 

Ruth provides some additional information for the page SCOTT, Oster Hills, St Albans, late 19th century. While I am sure that her Walter Scott is the 2 year old boy staying at Oster Hills in 1851, the matter is complicated because three Walter Scotts were born is Islington in 1848/9 and there appears to be a double entry in the census returns.

 

Bartek failed to realise that this is a non-commercial site which gives impartial advice and his commercial spam went straight into the bin. (I actually get 20-25 spam email messages a day - which are automatically deleted by my spam filter - but it is rare for anyone to log into the site and waste their time and mine by trying to get me to plug their probably useless products.)

Wednesday. 23rd June

Hunting down a roving land agent: Ian's ancestor Richard Morrison certainly got around as at the age of about 25 he married and had children who were baptised at Shenley (almost certainly in part of what is now the parish of London Colney). Later children were baptised at Tottenham, Middlesex, and he later worked in Kent before ending up with the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick where he died at about 55. If your ancestor moved around (perhaps because they worked for one of the super-rich of the time) or if they were a land agent, you might find some useful ideas on tracking them down in Morrison, Shenley, 1817-1830. One of the outstanding tasks is to try and identify where he was living in the Shenley area - and who was his landlord or employer.

 

Distracted by Tennis: I had planned to do more on this web site today - but got distracted by Wimbledon - and decided to watch until the match finished. It proved to be a real record breaker and was suspended for bad light when the score in the 5th set was 59 games to 59 - with play having lasted 10 hours!

Tuesday, 22nd June

Sacombe: Having taken a few days break from this web site I have started to catch up on the pictures I took last Saturday by creating some proper pages for the tiny parish of Sacombe. In addition to pictures of the church, and ancient gravestone and the war memorial, I have added an account of the parish from 1880 and the description of a storm at Sacombe Park in 1786. I have also added a number of useful external links.

Saturday, 19th June

The H.R.S. at Bramfield

 

The Hertfordshire Record Society had their Annual General Meeting at Bramfield this afternoon. A full report was given of the publication programme, with several future books in preparation, together with the Tithe map of Barnet. A list was circulated which show that while nearly all the published volumes are in stock, in many cases the number remaining is low (so get in quick with your orders). It was announced that the web site is in the process of being upgraded. The highlight of the meeting was the launch of 2009 volume - Datchworth Tithe Accounts 1711-1747. After refreshments many of those attending visited Bramfield Church.

 

I used the opportunity of my visit to Bramfield to take a number of photographs of the area to fill in some of the gaps on this web site. These include interiors and exteriors of Sacombe. Little Munden and Bramfield parish churches, and exterior shots of  Waterford Church and the Methodist Chapel at Watton. Other photographs include the old blacksmith's shop at Danes End and a cottage at Whempstead. It will take some time to prepare updates using selected photographs, and the updates will be reported on this blog.

Heartwood Forest

Towards Pudler's Wood

In Langley Wood

Thursday, June 17th

Exhibition: 60 years of Preserving History at Berkhamsted: An exhibition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Berkhamsted History Society is to be held at the Berkhamsted Civic Centre, 29th June to 3rd July, 10.00-17.00.

 

Some More Post Card Images for the site
   
Watford District Hospital   Watford Public Baths   Frogmore Village Sports

Wednesday, June 16th

Hertfordshire Views

Manor Farm, Puttenham

Course - Exploring Hertfordshire's History: The Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge, is running a course at Stevenage starting on 24th September for two terms. The tutor will be Margaret Ashby - who is the author of a number of books about Stevenage. "Hertfordshire has a rich and varied history. Past residents include Nell Gwynne, William Penn, and many others famous, infamous or just ordinary; whose stories are worth investigating. This course will feature lectures on aspects of Hertfordshire's history, but will be built mainly around topics that students themselves wish to pursue. Individuals will be helped to undertake small pieces of research which may eventually be collected together and reproduced for the whole class to read. During the first term we will concentrate on sources and research methods. In the second term we well be looking on writing up and presenting the results of the research.

 

 

Research into spinning by the University of Hertfordshire: Professor John Styles of the University of Hertfordshire will study how thousands of women across Britain earned a living with their spinning wheels between the 15th Century and the late 18th Century, when mass mechanised textile production began. He said: "Working by hand at a spinning wheel was what most ordinary women in England did for the 400 years before the Industrial Revolution. This was a skilled occupation, vital to the success of the textile industries that made England rich. The quality of English cloth, and the spun yard from which it was made was crucial - it helped England become one of the world's richest, most successful economies - yet we still lack a study that focuses on spinning, which, by the late 18th Century, was the most common form on non-agricultural work in England. [From St Albans and Harpenden Review.]

 

Hertfordshire Views

A robin with damsel fly at Marsworth Reservoir, near Tring.

A day trip to Luton by the staff of Apsley Paper Mill: One of the frustrating things is the amount of local history which can appear in local newspapers. For instance the Hemel Hempstead Gazette (and the Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette) prints details of old news stories from 100, 50 and 25 years ago every week, This week the 100 year old story related to the death of a local footballer, Achie "Slobber" Markman, after an operation in Hemel Hempstead Hospital. In addition it often has Heritage articles, often written in conjunction with the Dacorum Heritage Trust, In this week's issue it contains pictures relating to trips away from home and a staff trip from the Apsley Paper Mill to Luton. Similar articles occur in other local papers and it is impossible for me to monitor them - although I might occasional report on an interesting article.

Tuesday, June 15th

Standon - A Major update: As part of the general improvement of the web site, the pages for ancient parish of Standon, and the more recently created High Cross and Collier's End, have been totally restructured, with significant new material being added, and new links to external web sites..

     

Standon

  Standon Lordship   High Cross   Colliers End
   

Webmaster

Navigation on the web site: When this site was first created in 2001 the aim was to have one page for each town or ancient parish, and there were comparatively few pictures. As new information has been added many of the pages became overcrowded and supplementary pages have been added and the addition of A Guide to Old Hertfordshire the need to improve the organisation of the "place" pages becomes more important. Some time ago the towns of Tring and Watford were restructured and several other towns are in the process of being restructures when time is available. The update to Standon is a trial to see how villages can be restructured to make the most of the wider use of pictures and to provide a more attractive structure for the Guide and to provide better links to other web sites without individual pages becoming overloaded. There is another factor to be considered - and that is that most accesses to the web site are made from google and other search engines - and these will provide the "content" pages without the "menu",  This means that there must be links to take them back to relevant pages with menus, and from there access to the rest of the web site.

The ancient parish of Standon was chosen for the trial as it is more complex than many, as in the last couple of centuries it has spawned High Cross and Collier's End. The aim has been to provide a larger number of smaller pages with good connecting links. A new feature is to include links to relevant answers and also an encouragement to ask questions. (Ask Chris is to be modified shortly.) As always when part of the web site is modified the opportunity is taken to add new information - while linked pages are often inspected to reformat the return links, etc.. The update involved 16 new pages/images, and 50 others were altered (in some cases with links automatically changed by the software). In addition 9 new external links were added. Because of the amount of work involved it will me several years before all the place pages can be updated to this standard.

Saturday, June 12th

Views of Roughdown and Shothanger Commons, Boxmoor: (including reformatting Boxmoor page)

Roughdown from the Moor

 

Boxmoor from Roughdown

 

Shothanger Common

 

Golf Course

The Ryder Memorial

Bovingdon

Hertfordshire People: If you are already a member of the Hertfordshire Family History Society you will already know that the June issue includes articles on Thames Hospital Ships, William Murphy (1865-1900), The old and 19th century churches at Thundridge, and the parish church at High Cross. There was also an account of the first hot air flight over Hertfordshire in 1784. The next meeting will be on 26th June, entitled "A Visual Inheritance."

Records of Buckinghamshire: While records are arranged into geographical boundaries people have always crossed them freely and this site has a Buckinghamshire page which currently includes links to some of the more important web sites. I have just added the web address for the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society - which has produced a learned journal Records of Buckinghamshire since 1854. The index is available online and there are some Hertfordshire references. For instance Volume 32 (1990) contains an article The Coprolite Industry in Buckinghamshire which includes information on Puttenham.

Friday, June 11th

To keep up with the latest developments in Hertfordshire Genealogy why not make this page your "Home" page using the URL:

www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/links/current-blog.htm

World War 2 - Hatfield: Heather has emailed to say that the Hatfield Local History Society has published When the Bombs Dropped. It tells the story of the bombing of the de Haviland factory on 3rd October, 1940. (Tell Me if your own Local History Society - or its publications) are not yet mentioned on this web site.)

Agricultural Labourers and the National Archives: The National Archives produces a free e-Newsletter (you can sign up for it on their web site) and I was interested to see one of their forthcoming talks is entitled By hook and by crook: tracing agricultural labourers. As so many of the people who lived in Hertfordshire worked on the land it could be include some new tips for researching your ancestors, but it is on July 1st andI am afraid I will not be able to attend

Hertfordshire CDs for Half price: Prior to 2007 Rod Neep did a great job providing quality CDs of important historical books, including many relevant to Hertfordshire (see ArchiveCDbooks). Following Rod's retirement these have been available from Ireland. I have just heard that there is a 50% discount "Summer Sale" for orders received before 21st June.

Holinshead Family Tree: Judith reports that this now goes back to William Holinshead (1710-1781) and his wife Elizabeth.

Computer Problems: Stage 1 of getting everything Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion is now complete. I have a portable hard drive now loaded with approximately 300GB of data to be stored off site. This includes dumps of files from four generations of personal computers plus some older files dating back to the 1980s and quite a lot of duplication. I will be installing a new incremental storage system over the week-end and over the next few months there will be work to identify all files that need to be retained long term, while at the same time deleting duplicate and unwanted files. There can be little doubt that some of the research I carried out many years ago will make useful  additions to this web site. For instance one file I found relating to research I did in the 1980s contains detailed notes relating to the early research and marketing of artificial fertilizer by John Benet Lawes of Rothamstead, Harpenden. It only needs a few updates (from information now easily available from census returns, etc., to fill in some gaps in the published history.

Thursday, June 10th

Computer Problems: There is likely to be a few delays in new posts to this web site during the coming week. The reason is that yesterday my computer came up with an error report "Drive C Full"

Part of the reason is that recently I have been downloading large numbers of digital photographs to this drive, rather than a supplementary hard drive - but it is clear that I need to carry out a major rationalisation of my drives (on two different computers) and improve my back-up facilities, including off-site backups. I estimate that two full dumps (including software) plus selected dumps of my own data, and copies of all older backup discs and CDs (not readable on some laptops, etc) could total 400 gigabytes and take some time ...

A complication is that some of my oldest historical files were created with an old version of Microsoft Word which is not supported by the latest version - so I have a lot of history research notes which need reformating on an ancient PC which due for the scrap heap - but needs to be kept going because it has a compatible version of Word! A quick glance suggests that a number of these older files contain information which could usefully be added to this web site - so once I have completed a full security dump there could be some interesting online updates.

Tuesday, June 8th

A quiet day simply adding some new post card images

Real Photo Postcards can contain enormous detail: This postcard shows over 40 members of a carnival committee and as the detail shows, each head will enlarge up to an acceptable portrait. In this case there is a board reading "Waltham Cross, Cheshunt. Waltham Abbey, Enfield Wash Hospital Carnival Committee 1920" - Can you put names to any of the people. [Larger picture, etc]

Can you also help with any of the other pictures in the Rogues Gallery?

 

Rogues Gallery

   

Waltham Cross, Cheshunt. Waltham Abbey, Enfield Wash Hospital Carnival Committee 1920

     
Some More Post Card Images for the site
   

Graveley Church

 

 

WW1 Church Parade

Kings Langley?

Photo: Harry Cull, Watford

September 1914

 

Rose Cottage, Studham   Graveley Church  

The Studham card, and the two Graveley cards

appear to be by the same photographer

 
   
High Street, Whitwell   Christ's Hospital, Hertford      
[Post card of Weston Church redated]      
Monday, June 7th

Rootsweb: For some reason my post yesterday on Rootsweb relating to "Census addresses and maps" has been deleted and I am trying to find out why. While online I visited Rootschat and added a link to A Guide to Old Hertfordshire. (Within 10 minutes of my posting the link someone had posted a message saying how good it was!) I added a correction to a resource entry relating to Breakspear Farm, and modified my Valentine Postcards page so that if anyone enters the page from Rootschat it is easier to get the proper menu.

Hertfordshire Countryside: The June issue is now out and I enjoyed the article Little Servants of God about bees in the county. There was a review of the book Saving Churches (with a picture of St Mary's Church, Caldecote, the book representing the 50th anniversary of the charity The Friends of Friendless Churches.

Sunday, June 6th

Census addresses and maps: Following a query on Rootsweb I posted a reply showing that the place mentioned in the census return ("Old Moores", Little Hadham) is shown on an old map available online, and google maps shows that there is still a building at the same location - although its present name is not shown. It is perhaps appropriate to remind readers that the web page Locating Census Addresses on Maps (now updated to include a reference to google maps) is there to help you find out where your ancestor lived.

An unusual occupation and other issues: When Richard asked about OSBORN, Northchurch, 19th century in 2002 no census returns were available online, and the 1851 census for Berkhamsted had only just been published in book form.  In this case (and for many other early answers) the original reply seems very limited. Since then records have become far more available and Michelle has provided some extremely useful information on Charles Osborn's father, James. I became very interested in the fact that James' occupation changed in a non-obvious way over his life and at one time he was a "concrete builder". The question raised another issue - failures in indexing of the online census return, with the surname "Osborn" being incorrectly recorded in several instances. (A useful trick - if a surname is wrongly indexed you can sometimes find the individual by searching for given name, date and place of birth and leaving the surname field blank.)

Thank you for your comments: Many thanks to Gerard and Natalie who took the trouble of writing to me to say how much they liked  the blog and other aspects of the site. Thanks also to those who have written with specific information or queries who also said that they found the site useful. Running this site takes a considerable amount of time. There more comments I get on how you find the site the easier it will be for me to provide a better service in future.

Saturday, June 5th

Genealogists' Magazine: (Society of Genealogists) June 2010: while this issue contains no major items with a Hertfordshire link the additions to the library included a copy of the Haileybury register covering the years 1862-1983, and a history of the Church of the Holy Rood, Watford. There is a review of the 3rd edition of the National Burial Index, which apparently does not contain many more Hertfordshire entries than the 2nd edition. The Society of Genealogists Centenary Conference will be held on 7th May, next year and I am wondering whether I might submit something relating to this web site.

Use of the Site for teaching: Jo-Ann was searching the web for material on the First World War for use in teaching her pupils and was delighted to discover the information on Napsbury Military Hospital. She wrote saying she has similar pictures, some of which show her grandmother, who was a nurse there. If you have found the web site useful for teaching why not tell me about it.

The Albion Inn has gone: In 2002 Mike asked about JOHNSON, Albion Inn, Hemel Hempstead, Late 19th Century and supplied a photograph of the Albion Inn. On Thursday evening I was with a group who were having a picnic on a barge at the Paper Trail and took a picture of the new houses which have now been erected on the site of the old Albion Inn and its wharf.

 
Friday, June 4th

Have you looked at your original sources? More and more indexes are now coming on line - and quite a lot of people seem to be trying to build ancestral trees without checking the sources - and merely using indexes. This is a risky process - see Right Name, Wrong Body for some indications of how one can go wrong. In addition it means that I get quite a few requests where the only advice I can give is for you to tell me what the record actually says. For instance a Hardwick Act Marriage Certificate will tell you the parishes the couple come from - which MAY NOT BE THE SAME as the parish where the marriage took place. Original Hardwick Marriage Register entries can be seen on microfilm at your local LDS Family History Centre (see familysearch for address) on request - and the vast majority of you live closer to your F.H.C. than I do to HALS. While I live in Hertfordshire I am not prepared to take a round trip of about 70 miles to look something up for free on a microfilm identical to the one you could have looked at!

Under these circumstances I sometimes have to reply to a query with a request for information from source documents which, if you took family history research seriously you would already have looked at yourself.

Hertfordshire Views

Fallow Deer at Ashridge

(also see web site)

Newspapers can be useful: Keith has provided some additional information about W. B. MOSS, Hitchin from an obituary. It provides a list of the shops open in 1932 and the managers of each shops and the various Hitchin operations of the company.

Search Activity: Every month I get a list of the commonest search terms used on "Find It". The places most frequently searched for in May were: Barnet, Berkhamsted, Cheshunt, Gaddesden, Hatfield, Norton, St Albans, Watford. In planning the priority of updating the place pages I take notice of this list so it you use Find It it increases the chances that the pages you are interested in are updated.

Yet another "End": A recent enquiry on the Hertfordshire page of Rootsweb related to a New Mill End, Hertfordshire. This has no connection with New Mill, Tring, but is a hamlet on the Harpenden to Luton Road, close to Harpenden but just over the a mile inside Bedfordshire.

New Mill, Tring: The above item reminded me to post the following two postcard images of New Mill, Tring, - from postcards kindly made available by Vera together with a modern photograph of the New Mill Community Hall, formerly St George's Mission Church and before that a hut in the military camp at Gadebridge.

 

 

St George

 

New Mill Social Centre

 

New Mill Terrace

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People: While this site supports the Herts Mind Network (keep the donations rolling in as we are well behind target compared with last year) the family supports Hearing Dogs. When Belinda died she wanted her estate to support her two dogs Franci and Kayleigh and when they died to support Hearing Dogs. A couple of years ago Franci and Kayleigh were able to visit a building erected (in part) by "their" donation. As both dogs died earlier this year another donation has been made and we have been invited, as special guests, to attend their Summer Fair on Sunday, which is being opened by Joel Defries, presenter of the BBC Blue Peter Children's Program.

Tuesday, June 1st

Visiting Hertfordshire: Ruth's husband will be in England later this year and plans to visit Hertfordshire to take pictures of the are where her ancestors come from. As a result I have updated the page Visiting Hertfordshire to look for Ancestors and provided details of Google Maps Street View - which has now visited many Hertfordshire towns and villages  and which allows you to take a virtual walk along the streets where your ancestor once walked - and might even show their house if it has survived. I have also added two external links to the page for St Mary's Church, Ashwell.

Old School Records: Paul is looking for schooling information about members of the Gurr family (GURR, Christ's Hospital, Hertford, 1860s) but it would seem that the relevant records have not survived. In answering the question I discover that the document collection in the Guildhall Library is now part of the London Metropolitan Archives and make appropriate changes elsewhere. the L,M,A, is now on the Key sites menu.

Modern Views for poorly illustrated Places: Where there are few available old pictures I am taking photographs of old buildings where this is not too far out of my way.

Kensworth

Caddington

The Cow Roast

Herts Family History Society: I attended the monthly meeting last Saturday and the talk on the lives of three women affected by the Napoleonic wars was great fun, but as it was not directly related to Hertfordshire  I will not comment in detail  here. However I acquired three recent publications Hertfordshire Obituaries 1801-1837, Hertfordshire Quarter Sessions 1588-1619, and the brand new Memorial Inscriptions for St John the Baptist, Aldbury. Further details of these publications will appear on this web site later this month.

The Importance of Understanding Administrative Boundaries: Jack reports of the location of wills for Kensworth, which was in Hertfordshire  and now in Bedfordshire, He says . Given the history of boundary changes in the general area, researchers would be well advised to use both archives in order to ensure that they do not miss records. His comments almost certainly to the nearby parishes of Caddington and Studham but represent good advice whenever you are working in an area where the county boundary has changed.

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May 2010 Blog

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